Lots to learn at EARS open house

Curious to learn more about what can be grown locally?

Just stop by the Emo Agricultural Research Station (EARS) next Thursday (July 25) at 7 p.m. for the annual EARS open house to find out.

Attendees will learn about what varieties of crop grows best in the Rainy River District and how to get the strongest yields.

“We’ll take a walk through and see what we’re doing this year,” explained crop research technician Kim Jo Bliss.

“I think we’re down a little bit on our plot numbers just simply because we still are having [tile] drainage issues.”

“It’s hard to put plots in places where you don’t know if anything will grow or not,” she added. “We still have lots to look at and we have a dry bean trial again and the hops of course.”

Prior to the open house, EARS will also host their annual crop and soil tour where agriculture specialists will be on hand to answer any questions attendees may have.

The tour starts at 9 a.m. at EARS and will wrap up at 3:15 p.m.

“There’s two guys who are coming from the ministry of agriculture and food . . . and they’re going to be looking at a soil profile, so they’re going to be looking at things like compaction, and crop rotation,” said Bliss.

“As people look at the two they think it’s all about growing grain but it’s actually not, it’s also pasture and hay falls into that area as well,” she added.

“Sometimes we forget to think about what’s going on below the ground and that’s just as important as what’s going on above the ground.”

Bliss said she’s excited about the tour because there hasn’t been a soil profile done in the district since the ’90s, as far as she can recall.

Her favourite part about working at EARS each year is hosting the open house and connecting with all the different farmers and producers in the district.

“I think we work all year towards getting things ready to show it off to our neighbours, so that’s what we look forward to the most–just them seeing the work that we’ve done,” Bliss enthused.

She encourages all who are connected to agriculture or are an interest in farming to attend the open house.

Bliss is hoping for a good turnout, despite the delayed summer and rainfall keeping producers extra busy making hay this time of year.

“I hope that people will still take the time to come even though I know they have lots to do at home,” she said.

“Just come and learn, not only from . . . the discussions but when you’re networking like that with a group of people you always take something home, so I think just coming out to share what’s going on at your place and other places is such an asset to take the time to do.”

Light refreshments will be provided at the open house.